Book Review:: The Five Love Languages Singles Edition by Gary Chapman

I first became fluent in the Five Love Languages when I was working on my graduate degree.  Our professor asked us to pick a Christian counselor and critique his or her methods.  I chose Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages.  From his original book (intended for married couples, though I never felt excluded) to many of its spin-offs, Chapman has been able to help many people learn better communication skills.  His 30 years of clinical experience, work with young adults, and conference-speaking come together to craft a new edition of The Five Love Languages: Singles Edition.  The book focuses on five different singles groups—those who have never been marriage, divorcees, those who are separated (not divorced), widows, and single parents.

After a couple chapters on the definition of love and its importance to singles, Chapman revisits the Five Love Languages.  He starts out by making this powerful claim, “So, here is the thesis of the book based on thirty-plus years of experience in the counseling office: I am convinced there are only five love languages—five ways to experience love emotionally.” These ways are through words of affirmation, gift giving, acts of service, quality time, and physical touch. He devotes a chapter to each language, including stories from his many years of experience.

Chapman makes a lot of good points, especially about the importance of having a godly relationship that will last.  He writes, “Love is not a feeling; it is a way of behaving,” and his books teach readers how to observe human behavior so they can love one another more fully.  Plus, the Love Languages make sense and offer practical application.  I have no doubt that this book has helped many relationships.

Since I am a single, never-married woman, I decided this book could offer helpful advice.  I thought this book would help me to feel more loved as a single woman; instead, I received a lot of advice on how not to blow it with the future Mister.  While there was one chapter devoted to roommates and friends, I generally thought I was reading a book for Christian couples considering marriage.  I felt more isolated because I’m not even dating a guy whose love language I can discover!  Did Chapman offer advice on how to meet Mr. Right?  Of course not!  This isn’t a dating book, after all…but it sure felt like one.

If you’re looking for a good book on how to not ruin your next dating relationship before it starts, The Five Love Languages: Singles Edition is for you.  If you have difficulty getting along with others, this book is for you.  However, if you want to feel better about being single, this book isn’t what you’re looking for.  Unless, of course, you read it and realize that all your past break-ups weren’t your fault—your ex just didn’t speak your love language.  Then the book could be a definite pick-me-up.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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